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Project for the Support to the Navigability of the River and Lacustrian Waterways in the Democratic Republic of the Congo


Area: Subsaharan Africa
Country: Democratic Republic of Congo
Period: 2015-2020
Client: Support Unit to the National Authorising Officer of the European Development Fund (COFED)
Amount: € 1 192 750

River acts as integrating element in the DRC because the Congo River and its affluents serve more than 75% of the country, being for many countries the only access road and the only real economic artery. Indeed, the waterways in Congo enable a large volume of commercial exchanges between the provinces of the country. Because the river and lake transport is significantly less expensive and is very often the only possible way of transport. Furthermore, most of DRC roads terminal are  river and lake ports so that the waterways provide the largest volume of trade exchanges between the centers of production and consumption. However the development of river transport in recent decades shows a steady decrease of activities and services.

This project is designed to support through the EDF the willingness of the DRC to improve the navigability of a part of the inland waterways of the country. Concerning the river and lake routes, this funding covers the main areas of medium reach, such as the Congo River from Kinshasa to Kisangani and Kasai River between Malela-Kwa and Ilebo, and part of Lake Tanganyika. The rehabilitation of some main ports on this network is also taken into account by the project.

The overall objective of the program which this project is part of is the fight against poverty of a part of the Congolese people by contributing to the re-establishment and preservation of sustainable transport infrastructure to ensure access to markets and social and administrative services needed for socio-economic recovery and for the reintegration of the country.

The specific objective is to improve the navigability of part of the river and lake routes of the DRC along with improving efficiency of the multimodal transport system in the DRC. In particular, the technical assistance supports the work of the Project manager of the project, namely the Project Management Unit (PMU) to support the navigability of River and lacustrian waterways in the DRC.

Results to be achieved by the project are structured around four components, as follows:

Hydrology and Hydrography

  1. Obtaining and exploitation by the Board of Waterways – BWW (RVF) data and hydro-graphic, hydrological and bathymetric measurements, necessary to the management and improvement of navigation conditions on waterways;
  2. Institution of navigation albums using modern resources (aerial images and GPS indications) based on bathymetric surveys on which are indicated safe passages and obstacles to navigation; updated after each flood and made available to users;

Development and maintenance of waterways

  1. Rehabilitation of shore and beacon signals network (fixed and mobile tagging); Rehabilitation of the Fixed markup;
  2. Rehabilitation of the buoy network (fixed and mobile tagging);
  3. Construction or rehabilitation of boats and BWW (RVF) rehabilitation of the shipyard;
  4. Improved access to certain ports;

Rehabilitation of infrastructures Port

  1. Supply and installation of equipment for cargo / discharging operations in ports ;
  2. Rehabilitation of the Port areas and Port facilities works;

Capacity Building

  1. Training of surveyors and hydrologists, development and training in maintenance of waterways and the markup; port management training.
  2. Classical training at school and further education
  3. Instruction and Education for the delivery of materials or the provision of services acquired by the project

On-field accompaniment and training (skills transfer) by the Operational support teams stakeholders, previously presented.


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